Melanie Brenton Chairman

About Melanie Brenton

For over 20 years, Melanie has held client engagement and partnership roles, working with Territorians to develop the Northern Territory workforce and provide pathways to jobs.  Having an appropriately skilled workforce is key to support economic growth of the NT. In her current position as Industry Engagement Officer at Industry Skills Advisory Council, NT, she works with industry, businesses, registered training organisations and schools to gather feedback and provide advice on training and skills development. She considers our most critical challenge is having the skills and agility to take advantage of the opportunities technology changes bring to all jobs.


Terry Lawler Deputy Chairman

About Terry Lawler

Terry is currently employed as an Industry Engagement Officer at Industry Skills Advisory Council, NT. He is a qualified Motor Mechanic with numerous post trade endorsements, holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, a Diploma of Education (technical) and a Diploma in Corporate Governance from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Terry is also a long term director of Group Training NT, and previously worked with Unions NT as the Industry Development Officer, and as the Executive Officer of the Transport Engineering Automotive Training Advisory Council NT.

Terry developed and delivered the first Spare Parts Traineeship in the NT in 1989, worked as a job club trainer, managed special intervention projects and delivered post trade training across the Northern Territory.  This included designing and delivering training to existing workers on emerging new automotive technology including fuel injection and computerised engine management systems.  Terry also spent time delivering vocational training in Arnhem Land where he developed new and valuable relationships.

Terry is a member of the NT OZ Help Foundation Advisory Group, a proactive support group providing training and wellness services to workplaces around personal health management and the promotion of choices that target mental and physical wellbeing.

Terry has travelled along what may seem a logical career path from completing year 12, achieving a trade, becoming a vocational teacher and managing a Training Advisory Council. However the pathway has many exciting twists and turns. The journey continues.

Chris Hayward Treasurer

About Chris Hayward

Chris Hayward is a National Award winning Workforce Development specialist that has been a driving force behind the design and delivery of some of the most highly innovative workforce development projects in the NT,  building sectoral capacity across diverse industry sectors in remote areas of Australia. As a business developer and strategist that specializes in the development of sustainable social enterprises, Chris drove the Indigenous training and employment goals of Government-led initiatives across a number of program areas for both the Australian Government and the Northern Territory Government including CDP, VTEC, and the RSAS. Chris successfully built a number of successful indigenous social enterprises during his 10 years at the Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation (ALPA) and was a primary driver of ALPA going on to become the largest indigenous business in Australia. Chris now works as an independent consultant providing strategic support across a range of industry sectors including education; community services (NDIS) and health technology. 

Peter de Jonge Board Member

About Peter de Jonge

Peter has a Diploma of Logistics and is the Operations Manager for Metcash Food Group Darwin. After thirty years in the warehousing and distribution industry, Peter is a Fellow Member of the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics Australia (CILTA), which he currently chairs for the Northern Territory Section as well as holding a position on the national council . Formerly holding chair roles for the Transport Engineering Automotive Training Advisory Council and the Transport & Logistics Workforce Advisory Group, Peter is now a board member of the newly formed Industry Skills Advisory Council (ISAC).


Liz Reid Executive Officer

About Liz Reid

Liz is the Executive Officer of YouthWorX NT. A not for profit organisation committed to partnering with Territorians in supporting their lifelong social, economic and career success. Responsible for the management of diverse programs which include life and career coaching, the delivery of services to support employability skills. Liz administers the overall operation, strategic development and corporate health of the organisation including finance and human resources.

Prior to YouthWorX NT Liz was the National Disability Coordination Officer (NDCO) for the Northern Territory for a decade. This role provided information, coordination and referral services to increase and improve transitional pathways for Territorians with a disability between families, community, school, post-secondary, education and subsequent employment. 

Liz has 25+ years’ experience in the community, disability and social justice sectors. Liz has dedicated career in assisting others seek equitable opportunities to participate fully in their communities, reinforced by her passion for seeking demonstrated economic and social outcomes.

Archie Wright Board Member

About Archie Wright

A long term Darwin resident of 35 years, Archie worked in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) area from 1988 through to 2018. During this time he progressed from a Training Development Officer to a lengthy position as Executive Officer of the Major Industries Training Advisory Council. He has now moved on to be the Regional Executive Director of the Housing Industry Association (HIA) in the Northern Territory.

After identifying a significant need to maintain housing in remote communities, Archie was instrumental in developing the Certificate III in Remote Area Repairs and Maintenance qualification which is so useful to capacity building in remote communities.

In his current role he works closely with the Northern Territory residential construction sector to ensure that members of the HIA can access the best possible services. The Housing Industry Association is Australia’s largest residential building organisation. Members include builders, trade contractors, design professionals, kitchen and bathroom specialists, and manufacturers & suppliers.

Graeme Sawyer Board Member

About Graeme Sawyer

Graeme is the managing Director of a Darwin based e-Business software development company specializing in the development of web systems, online systems and multimedia content. Through a diverse range of projects and consultancies he has developed a broad understanding of issues in the NT and business processes and systems.

Graeme has an extensive background in working with technology in the education and business arenas as a consultant and has worked extensively in management and leadership roles, including a four year term as the Lord Mayor of Darwin.

He has travelled extensively through the NT to Schools and remote Aboriginal Schools including Arnhem Land and has worked extensively with aboriginal people on multimedia projects. He also has along involvement with environmental action through a number of not for profit environmental groups especially Frogwatch and the Australian Association for Environmental Education.

Ilana Eldridge Board Member

About Ilana Eldridge

Ilana, a finalist in the 2016 Telstra Businesswoman of the Year Awards and winner of the Prime Minister’s award for her work in Timor Leste, is the former CEO of Larrakia Nation, where she employed up to 90 people in an organisation with a $7m turnover. From 2010 she provided a consultancy service for major construction companies, Local Government and NGO’s.

In 2017 she launched NT Solar, which has quickly become the biggest locally-owned installer of rooftop solar panels for both residential and commercial buildings in the Top End. Ilana now heads the team developing three large generation-scale renewable energy projects for the NT’s electricity grid.

Judith McKay Board Member

About Judith McKay

Judith McKay is based in Darwin Northern Territory, engaged as a contractor to develop the capacity of local disability and aged care service providers to operate effectively and expand their work forces.  

2019, Judith’s valuable contribution to the vocational education and training sector was awarded at the Australian Training Awards as recipient of the National Achievement Award in recognition of her outstanding leadership and contribution to the Australian VET Sector for up to 25 years. Throughout her extensive career in VET, Judith has actively sought to promote and deliver awareness of key underpinning LLN skills in education and learning programs by working closely with employers and VET trainers in the design and delivery of targeted programs. Judith maintains a strong connection with the human services sector across the Northern Territory. 

Meg Friel Board Member

About Meg Friel

Meg Friel has over 20 years experience in the post compulsory education sector in the Northern Territory and has worked for public providers including Charles Darwin University, Batchelor Institute, and Correctional Services. Her experience is in both vocational education and training and higher education.   Provision of support to students to find the pathways to study and work has been a lifelong passion.   Meg has worked as a student counsellor, coordinator of student support services, Head of school, and CEO of a registered training organization.  Education and work transforms peoples lives and I am enjoying being part of Board that facilitates and advocates for access to education and work for young people.

Meg holds a Masters of Education, a Bachelor of Jurisprudence, and an Associate Diploma of Social Work.

Meg grew up in Darwin and Alice Springs, and although she did not complete year 12 has successfully managed to undertake further studies.